A temperature dependent virus binding assay reveals the presence of neutralising antibodies in human cytomegalovirus gB vaccine recipients’ sera

Journal article


Gomes, A., Baraniak, I., McIntosh, M., Sodi, I., Langstone, T., Siddiqui, S., Fullerton, C., McLean, G., Griffiths, P. and Reeves, M. (2023). A temperature dependent virus binding assay reveals the presence of neutralising antibodies in human cytomegalovirus gB vaccine recipients’ sera. Journal of General Virology. 104 (6). https://doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001860
AuthorsGomes, A., Baraniak, I., McIntosh, M., Sodi, I., Langstone, T., Siddiqui, S., Fullerton, C., McLean, G., Griffiths, P. and Reeves, M.
Abstract

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) remains an important cause of mortality in immune-compromised transplant patients and following congenital infection. Such is the burden, an effective vaccine strategy is considered to be of the highest priority. The most successful vaccines to date have focused on generating immune responses against glycoprotein B (gB) – a protein essential for HCMV fusion and entry. We have previously reported that an important component of the humoral immune response elicited by gB/MF59 vaccination of patients awaiting transplant is the induction of non-neutralizing antibodies that target cell-associated virus with little evidence of concomitant classical neutralizing antibodies. Here we report that a modified neutralization assay that promotes prolonged binding of HCMV to the cell surface reveals the presence of neutralizing antibodies in sera taken from gB-vaccinated patients that cannot be detected using standard assays. We go on to show that this is not a general feature of gB-neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that specific antibody responses induced by vaccination could be important. Although we can find no evidence that these neutralizing antibody responses are a correlate of protection in vivo in transplant recipients their identification demonstrates the utility of the approach in identifying these responses. We hypothesize that further characterization has the potential to aid the identification of functions within gB that are important during the entry process and could potentially improve future vaccine strategies directed against gB if they prove to be effective against HCMV at higher concentrations.

Keywords glycoprotein B, vaccine, cytomegalovirus, neutralizing antibodies
Year2023
JournalJournal of General Virology
Journal citation104 (6)
PublisherMicrobiology Society
ISSN1465-2099
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001860
Publication dates
Print13 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted15 May 2023
Deposited21 Jun 2023
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Copyright © Ariane C. Gomes, Ilona A. Baraniak, Megan R. McIntosh, Isabella Sodi, Toby Langstone, Saima Siddiqui, Claire Atkinson, Gary R. McLean, Paul D. Griffiths and Matthew B. Reeves. 2023. The definitive peer reviewed, edited version of this article is published in Journal of General Virology, volume 104, issue 6, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001860.

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